‘She-Ra and the Princesses of Power’ – AJ Michalka and Lauren Ash Talk Season 2

Being She-Ra’s sister isn’t easy, especially when you’re Catra and you’ve just been promoted to leader of the Horde. Catra’s not the only animalistic Horde member either. There’s also Scorpia.

Catra voice AJ Michalka and Scorpia voice Lauren Ash joined their fellow cast mates at the 2019 WonderCon held in Anaheim. Following their She-Ra and the Princesses of Power panel, Michalka and Ash teams up to speak with the press about what’s in store for the animated series’ second season.

She-Ra and the Princesses Of Power returns for a second season on Netflix April 26, 2019.

Do share any traits with your characters?

Lauren Ash: “Other than my giant claw hands? I have to say that I’m a very loyal friend. Am I as loyal as Scorpia? That’s tough.”

AJ Michalka: “Who is?”

Lauren Ash:: “Well, that’s the thing. But I definitely think that’s the number one thing that I have in common with her. She’ll fight somebody for her friend though. I don’t know. I’m Canadian, I don’t think I can actually hit another person. But maybe if pushed, but probably not. But the loyalty is it for me.”

AJ Michalka: “For me, it’s so hard. The way we know Catra now, no, there’s not any similarities. But the way we’re going to get to know Catra in later seasons to come, there are similarities. I think it has to do with the friendship her and Adora have and the love they have for one another. And to me there’s like a sister bond a little bit there that ends up becoming actually even deeper. I really think that in my mind that’s something that…gosh, in a way, it’s like I almost feel like their relationship, their friendship is like there’s a sisterhood there that I think is really important. And I kind of have that with my sister.

I don’t know if this is going to make sense down the road, this interview, based on the episodes that are going to come out, but there is a sisterhood between those two girls that no one can break.”

So how is Catra handling her new leadership position?

AJ Michalka: “She’s a little overwhelmed, I think. She’s obviously excited for the upgrade and job, however her main focus is impressing Hordak. I kind of feel like she’s still the underdog and she feels like she has to prove herself. And meanwhile Entrapta is coming in and kind of holding court and Catra is not happy with that. So once competition kind of comes into play, Catra has an issue with that.”

Scorpia’s getting more of a leadership role, too. Are there any things she still wants for herself or does she just want to be more like Catra?

Lauren Ash: “She just wants attention from Catra, I think, is the number one thing. I mean, like you heard in that clip that they showed during the panel, it’s like she said, ‘Even I couldn’t mess it up.’ Like, her rose-colored glasses are on just strapped to her head that literally anything that even has a semblance of positivity that Catra says to her is very meaningful. So, really, that’s her main focus is, ‘I have to do a good job because Catra entrusts me with this.’ That’s like of the utmost importance.

In terms of things, I don’t know that she has wants for herself. I think her only real want is just to have Catra’s friendship and love and to please her. That’s really her whole being.”

AJ Michalka: “Yeah, just approval-based.”

Lauren Ash: “It’s just approval-based.”

AJ Michalka: “Yeah, which is really sweet but sad. There’s so much more going for her that I just wish she would not base her worth off of what Catra thinks.”

Lauren Ash: “I know but that’s a lesson that I think that so many people can learn in real life, too.”

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Aimee Carrero, AJ Michalka, Lauren Ash and Marcus Scribner on the DreamWorks ‘She-Ra and the Princesses of Power’ red carpet at WonderCon (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for DreamWorks Animation Television)

How have your interactions with fans been since season one? Do people tell you how much they love you?

AJ Michalka: “Yeah. I mean people have connected down the road that I’m Catra or I’m sure that you’re Scorpia, it clicks with people. Like, ‘I know that voice. It sounds familiar. What is that from?’ And then I’ve talked about it and it’s like you kind of see them go, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s it!’

It’s neat that you can be identified in that way by using your voice. This is the second thing I’ve ever done as a voice actor, but it’s been so fulfilling as an actor because it’s taught me how much I’m able to actually do with my voice. And then to be recognized for that and not for, ‘Oh I recognize your look,’ it’s more I recognize how you sound. That’s neat for me.”

Lauren Ash: “Yeah, I don’t feel like the response I’ve got…it’s like people don’t view Scorpia as a villain even though she is, she one hundred percent is. But I think because she has such a big heart and she’s so lovable and goofy, I don’t think people even view her that way. It’s kind of like, ‘Oh yeah, she’s doing bad stuff but come on! She knows not what she does. That’s not who she is.’ Which is amazing.

And definitely too I remember there was a She-Ra party and so there were a lot of behind the scenes people, animators and stuff like that. I’d be introduced to someone and literally they’d be like, ‘Oh my god!!!’ because they recognize the voice. They don’t necessarily know what you look like and they’ve been working with these voices. So, it was such a fun night of just like blowing people’s minds.”

AJ Michalka: “You’re so right. That night was really fun. We’d never met these people working on the show.”

Lauren Ash: “Yeah. That’s the thing also that I think people forget is there’s like hundreds of people that it takes to make any show but certainly an animated show. And, also, that you never meet but that know you intimately because they work with your voice literally every day.”

AJ Michalka: “Yes and are cutting you a cartoon. It’s crazy.”

After doing the first season was there anything different you wanted to do with your voices in the second season?

Lauren Ash: “You know what? I think that what happens in general on any show that you’re on is that when you continue to get more episodes, the writers begin to write to how you sound more and more. So, I feel like it kind of just cements itself, if that makes any sense, where you know early episodes you may be putting your taste on it a little bit more in terms of tone. But then when the writers hear it, they learn that and then they start kind of writing in that way. So when you’re getting into season two, I’m looking at it going, ‘Oh yeah, this sounds exactly like it. I know exactly how to do it.’

AJ Michalka: “Yeah. No, there’s nothing where I’ve been like, ‘Oh gosh, I want to experiment with this,’ and I wasn’t able to play with it the first season. My thing that I’ve really had a fun time doing that I want to do more of in future episodes is like playing young Catra because that was just a fun exploration as an actor to figure out how young I could go and how it could sound authentic to the character.

But, yeah, I agree a hundred percent. They understand how to write for you the more you record. I think that our showrunner and our director get our voices and our personality so well that each season got stronger and stronger. And you would literally read a line and go, ‘I know exactly what to do with that,’ because I feel like I’ve gotten to a place now where I feel very in control of this part.”

What other fun stuff is coming up?

AJ Michalka: “So Bow and Glimmer realize that Entrapta is alive and Catra kind of pulls one over on them and makes them feel very guilty for leaving her behind when really they did not do that. But, of course, Catra’s like, ‘How can I play a mind game on these two to convince them that what they did was wrong and they’re horrible friends and they’ll never redeem themselves?’ And they don’t fall for it. Glimmer does a little bit and then realizes that’s not true.

But to get Entrapta back is going to be a big goal for them and we’ll have to see where that goes. But that’s one of my favorite storylines for this season.”

Lauren Ash: “Yeah. There’s also a really cool episode which they did show a clip from where we’re going to see a plan of attack through the eyes of Bow. You get to see all of the characters and it’s a real nod to that ’80s original version of the show. So, we get to see Adora in the more traditional original She-Ra costume and stuff like that. We get to see Catra.

I mean, like literally She-Ra was my favorite cartoon growing up; it really, really was. I did a squeal when Catra came on because I was so into it. I’m so excited for people to see that scene because it’s such a fun thing and it’s such a fun way to pay homage to the original but doing it in a way that isn’t…”

AJ Michalka: – “It’s super cheeky.”

Lauren Ash: – “And fun. It’s like reminding us that this did exist in another way before. We have to address that in some way but we’ll do it in a way that’s really, really fun and authentic because I’m sure there’s also like… Think about this: there’s people that weren’t alive when that show came out that have never…they have no concept that that show existed.”